The-Ozone Staff Picks: Ohio State vs. Wisconsin — B1G Championship Game

2018 Big Ten Championship Game Script Ohio TBDBITL

Before we get to the staff picks for the Big Ten Championship Game between your Ohio State Buckeyes and their Wisconsin Badgers, we have some paperwork to take care of. Namely, who won the staff picks for the Michigan Game.

I know most of us expected me to win because I have done it once in the past, but in fact I did not win.

If you’ll recall, Ohio State came out the true victors over the Wolverines by a score of 56-27.

Caroline Rice won with her prediction of 41-24, though you could argue that my score of 31-17 was just as close.

Can she continue her winning streak in the postseason? Probably.

Tony Gerdeman

I have already made my score prediction known on our Buckeye Weekly preview podcast and I don’t feel great about it. I think I gave Ohio State’s offense too much credit. Justin Fields isn’t going to be as able to get out of Wisconsin’s way as well as he was the last time these two teams played, and they still sacked him four times if I recall correctly. I expect some more blitzes to get home as Wisconsin changes up their front from possession to possession.

But this is still the Ohio State offense, so JK Dobbins will still be involved. Expect about 10 carries per quarter for as long as his presence is necessary. Playing on a fast track will help the Ohio State offense, but the Buckeye defense better be ready for Jonathan Taylor. They have held him to 93 yards total in his only two games against OSU. If they hold him under that number this week, they’ll win.

I like Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson to make some more noise in this one. I’d like to change my pick a bit, but once you throw your score prediction on a recording, you have to maintain your integrity.

Ohio State 45, Wisconsin 21

Brandon Zimmerman

For personal reasons, I was REALLY hoping Ohio State had the chance to face Minnesota, but Gophers gonna Goph, and so here we sit with a rematch. Yay! Or something like that.

Offensively, Ohio State will be on a fast track and they do have a little something to prove. In a perfect world, they could sit Justin Fields and sloppily win by a score or two with little to no passing game. This result may not keep Ohio State at number one which is why it won’t happen. I think Wisconsin is going to sell out to stop JK Dobbins much like teams did last year. Expect a 300+ yard passing day for Fields.

On the defensive side of the ball the Buckeyes will have to obviously shut down Jonathan Taylor. In two career games against Ohio State, the reigning B1G Running Back of the Year has 35 rushing attempts for 93 yards and 0 touchdowns. It’s safe to say that the Buckeye defense has had his number. This will probably be personal for Taylor to prove to himself that he can run on the elite. It won’t matter.

Ohio State 52, Wisconsin 17

Chip Minnich

Wisconsin is going to be better the second time around. Before anyone accuses me of being overly negative, I will merely point out that Wisconsin rebounded well from its late October beating by Ohio State, defeating Iowa (24-22), winning at Nebraska (37-21), Purdue (45-24), and at Minnesota (38-17). Granted, none of those teams were as talented as Ohio State, but the Badgers kept their focus and wound up winning The B1G West Division.

With the game indoors, I expect Wisconsin to try and duplicate some of what worked well by Penn State and Michigan against Ohio State. I am guessing Shaun Wade will be back, but if he is not, who gets matched up on Wisconsin’s Quintez Cephus will bear watching. Wisconsin will be better, but Ohio State has too much for the Badgers to keep pace, and I like Ohio State to be B1G Champions for the third consecutive year.

Ohio State 42, Wisconsin 21.

Adam Borland

Honestly, I don’t think Ohio State has a chance in this one. I know, I know. I’m willing to take a lot of heat for that bold statement, but it’s true. I mean, let’s look at the facts, shall we?

On the one hand, sure, Ohio State is tops in the league in scoring offense, total offense, scoring defense and total defense. And, I’ll give you that the Buckeyes’ passing efficiency on both sides of the ball is better than Wisconsin’s. I’m even willing to grant you that Ohio State’s punting and field goal units have been more consistent this year than the Badgers’. They’ve also been the better squad when it comes to sacks, first downs, third down conversions, turnover margin, and a host of other categories.

BUT!!! Ohio State only has one Big Ten Coach of the Year Award since 1979 to Wisconsin’s FIVE!!! Game over.

Okay, moving past the snark and ridiculousness of that trophy (along with a sincere congratulations to Ryan Day), Ohio State rolls past Wisconsin once more this year. I know it’s “tough to beat a team twice in one season,” but I think that saying relates more to teams that are somewhat evenly matched on the field. OSU is significantly better in nearly every aspect of the game. Ryan Day and his team know what a victory means and he will have them better prepared than their opposition. In addition, there will be no weather factor to assist the Badgers. If anything, the dome only helps to put them all on even ground, which favors the team with the better athletes. J.K. Dobbins will carry the ball about 30 times for just under 200 yards and Justin Fields will throw for another 250 as Ohio State celebrates in Indianapolis for a fourth time in six years.

Ohio State 41, Wisconsin 20

Michael Citro

Second verse, same as the first (well, sort of). In the first meeting, Ohio State didn’t have too much trouble with Wisconsin after the first drive of the second half but it did take a while to get going. I think the Buckeyes will be able to pass more this time around due to the game being indoors, but it’s extremely difficult to beat the same opponent twice in a year. You’ve already exhausted your preferred game plan and also made in-game adjustments. Both teams are on level footing in that respect, but there’s usually a bit of a revenge factor for the team that lost the first time around and they know how much harder they have to work the second time around.

Ohio State is coming off two physical match-ups in which the starters had to play their most snaps of the year. Justin Fields, Shaun Wade, and Damon Arnette are banged up. That’s not ideal. But I think Chase Young will be eager to bounce back after last week’s hold-fest in Ann Arbor. The defensive line will be tested as Jonathan Taylor will feel he has a lot to prove.

Ohio State 34, Wisconsin 21

Tom Orr

Jonathan Taylor has piled up insane rushing yards for the three full seasons at Wisconsin. The junior has carried the ball 850 times for 5,839 yards (6.9 YPC) against all opponents except Ohio State.

Taylor has rushed 35 times for 93 yards (2.7 YPC) in two career games against the Buckeyes.

That’s not a fluke. Ohio State has pretty much completely shut down Wisconsin’s otherwise stellar run game for years now.

Melvin Gordon: 42 carries, 149 yards, 3.5 YPC against the Buckeyes, 589 carries, 4,766 yards, 8.1 YPC against everyone else.

Only Corey Clement in 2016 really broke out.

The Badgers will have to throw the ball to get the Buckeyes to back out of the box, which is definitely not the way they like to operate.

Jack Coan had a quiet day when these teams met in October. He should at least be better since this game will be played indoors and not in a monsoon.

If the Badgers are able to establish a balanced offense, they could double their offensive production from October, or more.

Unfortunately for Wisconsin, playing inside a dome means Buckeyes will be better on offense, too.

Ohio State 48, Wisconsin 17

Michael Meihls

Before we go any further, I just want to congratulate Ryan Day for winning the first B1G COY in my entire lifetime for a Buckeye coach. I’ve been championing this cause for years now and I’m glad that it’s over.

As for the championship game this weekend, the big question obviously is if the Silver Bullets can once again contain Jonathan Taylor. Ohio State has held him in check in their two matchups, but an All-World running back like Taylor will eventually get his home run. Just like last time, I will tell you the key is limiting the damage and keeping him in check so he doesn’t have a multi-homer game.

Wisconsin has traditionally played decent defense this century, but like the game a few weeks ago, they can’t compete with the offensive juggernaut that is this OSU team.

The biggest competition will be style points. Does the coaching staff pull starters early enough to stay healthy and rest before the playoffs? With a late kickoff, they will know early the outcome of every other game. I’d dare say Ohio State is in even with a close loss. But how much does avoiding Clemson carry weight to the staff? Do they need to win big after a possible LSU stomping of UGA? Or if chaos happens, can OSU feel confident pulling everyone to rest, taking an L, and still get in if UGA, OU, Utah, and UVA all win?

In the end, coaching and talent once again win out.

Ohio State 41, Wisconsin 14

Caroline Rice

I’m predicting Wisconsin to trick Ohio State a bit offensively. Relying on Jonathan Taylor didn’t work too well for the Badgers the first time and they were passing the ball pretty well against Minnesota. They will have to throw some new things at Ohio State. But in order to get anything done they will have to find a way to hold Chase Young, which is something they didn’t do too well the first time around.

For the Buckeyes offensively, I am predicting another big game for J.K. Dobbins. Ohio State was able to move the ball well on Wisconsin’s top defense the last time and I am expecting even more of that in this game because weather won’t be a factor.

Wisconsin will be angry and a bit embarrassed from what happened the last time because everyone expected it to be “a game.” But the Buckeyes will be too much for them to contain once again. This Ohio State team is focused and talented, and I can’t see Wisconsin getting in their way.

Ohio State 49, Wisconsin 20

10 Responses

  1. Michael Citro made up for his bizarre Michigan prediction by drilling a Hole-In-One this time. Good job.

  2. Any sane person knows the undefeated OSU Buckeyes already earned the Big Ten championship last Saturday. Playing a two loss team we already soundly beat is a scam. Hope nobody gets hurt. The Buckeyes will have no problem beating this second rate team that should be ranked in the teens especially on a high speed indoor track.

    Ohio State 41
    Wisconsin 20

  3. Put me down with Mills! Looking forward to watching this great team on a fast track. These are the days! I hope the Buckeye Band is mic’d really well.

  4. Wisconsin will sell out to stop Dubbins knowing that Fields is in protect your knee mode. They will blitz from all sides to get to both of them. On offense, they will obviously try to duplicate what Michigan did to contain Young. They will have success on both those fronts, but not consistantly. Fields is much more confident with deep balls now. He will burn them early and they will back off. Dubbins will then take over. Over confidence by Fields will lead to a turnover. One more turnover between fumbles, punts. Our D will not sit back the whole first half before dialing in the pressure. The net outcome will be the same sack wise wether Young or others. Their TEs will keep a couple of drives going as #20 will spot them a couple of steps as usual. Borland will play equal time with Browning. 21-17 going into fourth quarter. One drive and one pick will get us to. 35-24 OSU.

    1. From spelling to the game breakdown, I didn’t see anything right.

      1. A good portion of what I said was close to what hsppened. My spelling considering I am typing on a small phone with bad eyes is better than 90% of the posts here. Thanks for reading my note. Go bucks!

  5. Earlier in the week I suspected this would be a much different game outcome. I had it 35 – 17 Buckeyes. The problem the more I looked at it is three fold. 1. These are still the same 2 teams, and no matter how dumbed down the offense was for the Buckeyes in miserable conditions, this game is on a really fast track. That favors the Buckeyes on both sides of the ball. 2. Nobody really knew just how good the Buckeye defense was at the time of their first meeting. Now we know that when the D can play fast downhill football they are a beast. Whatever speed Wisconsin can put on the field is negated and the big guys in the middle of the line are going to come out hungry and angry having been snubbed along the awards circuit. 3. It’s never good to face the same opponent twice in the same season. Well, at least not in the pro ranks. At the college level there’s no escaping the talent disparity and level of talented depth. Hunger, passion, desire, execution and focus being even, leaves the better talent in a better place, and this game is going to expose the disparity.

    Ohio State 56
    Wisconsin 17 (one score will come by way of special teams)

  6. Ohio State’s offense will come out with a chip on their shoulder being held to a season-worst 10 points in the first half last time these two teams met and Ryan Day is gonna use that as motivation for his team.
    Wisconsin is Wisconsin. If you can stop their run game their mediocre QB and one good receiver (out of four possible) won’t get it done.
    Biggest concern for the Buckeyes is they did a terrible job all game last time protecting Drue Chrisman. Wisky brought heat every time he punted, getting one that lead to their only score of the game.
    I think Wisconsin gets a legit score this game (driving the field) but trying to learn the Harbaugh lesson fails TWICE in the red zone (turnovers and/or on downs)
    Buckeyes 49
    Badgers 7

    1. Major leagues against triple A. Nothing to see here. Buckeyes continue being bullies!

      1. I guess your team got their butts kicked again last week, huh? You must need attention pretty badly to post your angry, gay, bitter comments here. Go Buckeyes!

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